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ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

POEMS FOR MEGAN SARAH: REWRITING A COVENANT

Megan Sarah Casuga, Grandchild #5



POEMS FOR MEGAN SARAH: REWRITING A COVENANT


(For Megan Sarah Casuga, Grandchild #5)

 
“You have your paintbrush and colors. Paint Paradise, and in you go.”---Nikos Kazantzakis
 
1. Her Palette of Rainbows

“I painted a rainbow for you, abuelo, a long one.
See it? It twirls around the hills and rivers
It colours the evening sky, too. Look. See It?”

Barely able to contain a bursting torrent of words,
She jumped up from the widest expanse of space
Defined on the floors of the ball court. Her studio.

“Look, look, look. Do you see it now? It is for you.
You can ride on the back of a rainbow can’t you?”
A beaming art teacher followed her with a smile

To where the startled old man got jolted from a nap
While he waited for the lass to finish another day
At what he called her paint-splashing war zone.

“Where? Whaaa? What riding rainbow? When?”
Askance, he blurted absently, until he heard her
Guffaw: “There! Lookit! Come. Let’s make rainbows.”


2.  His Covenant Built on the Rainbow

It would have to be a clear canvas, and all the walls
a limitless expanse of nothing. Yet. Your easel
could turn or slide in all possible directions,
your palette a saucer of rainbows. Your brush a wand.

These are my terms for an unbreakable covenant
I shall draw with the Master Artist: that you, my girl,
would always remain the giggling child with colours,
an unbridled conjurer of quaint realities among clouds

where they match quicksilver dreams that shape
and reshape themselves however you fancy them;
that you would be free of the shackles of meaning
or the ghosts of language as their intolerable gaolers

in dungeons where there are no keys nor clanging cell
doors to open; that you would have all the sunrises
and all the sunsets in your fingers, and all the days
of your life kept neatly folded in drawers you could open.

That your thoughts could grasp their tail and hold it
while running to fill all empty vases with loves and lives
as meaning of what meanings would be if your life
meant anything at all; that you will paint your paradise.
 

---ALBERT B. CASUGA
June 11, 2014, Mississauga



 

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